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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffTyler Date: Oct 13, 2003 12:41pm
Forum: etree Subject: My Opinion.

This is true. Some people thumb their noses at a recording as soon as they hear "Mini-Disk", not even giving it a listen. It is unfortunate that this notion that only those recordings made on more expensive decks are 'quality' or 'sound good'. I personally find that attitude snobbish.

DAT does have some very good aspects that Mini-Disks do not:

DAT decks use tapes with zero compression. What you get on playback has no compression, versus the small compression with a MD (ATRAC).

DAT decks use tapes that will record for several hours, so no 'tape-flip' is needed. MD's only record either 74 or 80 minutes per-disk, so you will have to watch the clock and switch in a new disk when the old one is up, and try and do it as soon as one song ends, and try and get it going again before the next song starts. I admit this is hard and nerve racking. A simple solution is to buy 2 MD decks, and when you are nearing the end on one disk, start recording on your second deck (with a fresh blank in it) so all you have to do is move the plug from the batt box from one deck to the other. This takes 1-2 seconds instead of the 20-30 seconds of a MD flip.

But those better aspects of a DAT deck do come at a price. I was not exagerating: It is very much more expensive then a MD deck. BUT if you have the cash, go for it! I wish I had the money for a DAT deck, but I do not. Also, be very weary of buying used DAT decks off eBay. DAT decks require their heads to be cleaned and taken care of, lots of maintance. Often the 'cheap' or 'what a deal!' DAT decks of eBay are decks with many, many hours of recording on those heads, and you as the buyer will have to invest in another $100 or so to fix it back up. DAT decks I have heard to be finiky machines. MD decks, however, when they are done, they are done. Refurbished decks work just as good as new ones, and the two that i have (both $50 off ebay) work like a dream.

Just one more word then i'll quit yapping: If you do go MD, get a Sharp. They support 'on-the-fly' level changes, where you can adjust the levels (how much of the signal is being let in) while you are recording. Sony MD recorders require you to pause recording, then change levels, then start again. This is bad times.

Overall, whatever you record with, at least you are doing it! That is the main part. Remember what Tenacious D said in those early HBO sketches? "Always record! Always record!" If i had only $30 to spare, i would go to Radioshack and get one of those rectangular audio cassett recorder / playback decks. You just put a regular large cassett in there, and hit 'record'. The sound may not be perfect, but it is cheap and easy.

In my opinion, the cheapest way to go to get quality recordings is the above mic and batt box and a sharp md deck.

Welcome to the world of taping! Beware, it is addictive.

Tyler